What are the top Google ranking factors that affect the search results? Getting your website to rank on Google can be a real challenge. Google has over 200 ranking factors, so which ones should you really worry about?
To find out which Google ranking factors make the biggest impact on your website keep watching.
Hi, I'm Tom Malesic, founder and President of EZMarketing and you're watching Ask EZ. This is where small business owners go to get real answers to their marketing questions.
About Google's Algorithm
Before we jump in, I just want to give you a word of caution.
Nobody knows exactly what goes into Google's algorithm. Probably not even Google. Look, there's no secret or magic formula, and anyone who claims otherwise is probably a scammer.
We're going to list just a few factors that SEO experts generally agree impact your rankings the most.
1. Optimized Content
First we need optimized content. Google wants to see relevant, high-quality content on your website.
Optimized SEO content means that you're using the right keywords, including related keywords. And the content has to be long enough. And the content also has to provide great information that the user is looking for.
Second we need backlinks. And backlinks are like votes for your web design. So in general, the more backlinks, you have the more important Google thinks you are, and the higher Google will rank you.
Besides quantity, Google also cares about the quality of those backlinks. We like to see links that come from a variety of different sources, and the more authoritative that site is the better. So if you have a link coming from Forbes Magazine or from Wikipedia, those links have a lot more value than just a very low-quality link.
3. Search Intent
The third factor that I want you to think about is search intent. Now this one's a little weird because you don't have a lot of control over it.
Search Intent is why the person is making that search.
- What are they looking for?
- Is it information?
- Do they want to buy something?
- Or are they just trying to find where your business is located?
Google just wants to deliver the best content that matches the search intent. So an example is if somebody searches for 'best camping grill' they're looking for information, comparisons, product reviews.
So a landing page with a coupon for grills probably won't rank regardless of how many times you put the keywords on that page. But a buyer's guide with pricing charts and video reviews of different grills will work much better.
4. User Behavior
Number four is user behavior. These are things like the click-through rate from the search engines to your website, your bounce rate, the number of pages they look at, or even how long they stay on your site.
There are lots of things that can cause people to leave your site like bad design, bad content, a horrible user experience. The bottom line is if people aren't staying on your site there's something wrong and it's probably hurting your Google rankings.
5. Page Speed
Number five is page speed. One of the big reasons people might be leaving your site is it just loads too slow, especially if they're on mobile.
Most people will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Look, if your website loads slow improving your page speed will likely help your rankings.
Number six mobile-friendliness. I feel like a broken record on this point but your website design MUST be mobile-friendly, or also known as "responsive web design".
Since 2018, Google has been prioritizing websites that are mobile-friendly but still many businesses still haven't switched. Look if you don't have a website design that's mobile-friendly you NEED to get one.
7. Security Certificate
And finally, number seven you must have a security certificate. When you look at the URL in the browser window it'll either say 'HTTPS' or it will say 'HTTP.' If it doesn't have the 'S,' you don't have a security certificate.
Google is absolutely prioritizing websites that have that security certificate. Will it catapult you to the top of the rankings? Probably not, but it's absolutely a ranking factor that you should fix.
Is Your Website Ranking?
These were just seven of the over 200 ranking factors that impact your results on Google. If you want to know what's keeping you from ranking on Google please request one of our FREE SEO Audits. We're happy to do the analysis, run a full report, and share those results with you
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